Monday, 30 May 2011

Good, fun film...

...even if it wasn't the one I thought it was. It was actually "You are going to meet a tall, dark stranger" and not Midnight in Paris or whatever the Carla Bruni vehicle is called.

El Biografo has something of the Cinema Paradiso about it: the nice old man who sells you your ticket will then show you to your seat, run upstairs and set the film off then run back downstairs and show the remaining latecomers to their places. It's a little room with about 150 comfortable, deep, red plush seats. A ticket to this little corner of paradise will set you back the equivalent of €3 Monday to Wednesday or €4 Thursday to Sunday. I hope they change the programme soon as I'd love to go back before heading home.

Walking out of the cinema, I'd completely forgotten where I was. The film was in English with Spanish subtitles, but seeing as the last film I saw in Toulouse was in Spanish with French subtitles (El hombre de al lado, if you're interested; 'The Man Next Door', a superb Argentinian film) the notion of the language(s) in front of you is not necessarily an infallible guide to your current location. It was only as I stepped out onto Lastarria and saw the tarot dealers and strange-looking dog coat salesmen (yes) that I remembered I was in Santiago. The fact the film was set in London played a part too, I'm sure.

So that's my first week finished in the southern hemisphere. I'm still amazed by all the British names attached not only to the country's political life but also its history. I still need to look into this, but there was a very important man called Bernardo O'Higgins (you couldn't make it up). He was, apparently, the saviour and liberator of Chile but is now a rather long avenue running east to west through this city of 6.5 million souls. Notable contemporary politicians and writers include an Edwards, a Hargreaves, a Walker, a Golborne  (previously Holborne, I'd imagine). There are others, but they escape me. Needless to say, there's a good smattering of German names including a leading Minister called Ena Von Baer. Look her up on Wikipedia; her case can't be that much different from many others in this country. German names abound in the rest of the city: architects, chemists, leading businessmen etc. I wish I had another six months to really research this place but if all goes well I should be back next year, when I'll be able to combine my love of things Germanic and Hispanic, contradictory as this combination may sound. Maybe this duality unknowingly underpins my love of Argentina, too; a country I know little about but which exercises an immense fascination over me.


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